by SrA Maeson Elleman

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling aircraft from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron refuels a 44th Fighter Squadron F-15 Eagle while two other F-15s fly in formation during a training mission over Okinawa, Japan, April 5, 2013. The KC-135 and F-15 are two of five aircraft regularly operated from Kadena Air Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maeson L. Elleman/Released)

Photographer's Narrative


When public affairs merged career fields with photographers in 2012, I jumped at the opportunity to get flight qualified and processed through altitude chamber training. This photo is from the first flight I ever had in the back seat of an F-15D Eagle. It wasn’t as easy as I thought to take tight turns and put the camera where I needed it at the same time. However, at one point of the training, we paired up with a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 909th Air Refueling Squadron and the aircraft took turns refueling. It’s pretty incredible to watch plane after plane make contact with another aircraft mid-flight.